India football coach Igor Stimac
India football coach Igor Stimac

Bangladesh's goalkeeper was man of the match in my opinion: India coach Igor Stimac

ANI | Updated: Oct 16, 2019 11:29 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Oct 16 (ANI): After India's 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, Blue Tigers' coach Igor Stimac praised opponent's goalkeeper, saying that he was the man of the match in his opinion.
Stimac also said that the team failed to showcase good finishing skills in the match. He also said that India conceded a silly goal in the first half.
"I think the game was an exciting one. It was one in which everyone could enjoy the beauty of it however, we couldn't get a result in the end. We pushed right until the end, we created enough chances to win the game but our scoring wasn't good enough. Their goalkeeper, who was, in my opinion, the man of the match, was a reason and our lack of capability for finishing chances was a reason we couldn't win today," quoted Stimac as saying.

"We knew Bangladesh would get a few chances because when you play so high up, you will face problems in the game. We faced that and we conceded a very silly goal. When you concede goals like that, you cannot expect to win the game," he added.
In the match between both sides, Saad Uddin had put Bangladesh in front in the first half, but India center-back Adil Khan equalised late in the game to draw the home side level.
The Blue Tigers were chasing the three points from the match. Chhetri had an early shot on goal saved by Bangladesh goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana.
India's Bheke had a chance to goal in the opening minutes of the match as he won a free header from a corner. However, his header flew over the bar.
Near the half-time mark, Uddin managed to get on to the end of a set-piece from the left flank, past an outstretched Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, to put Bangladesh in the lead.
Stimac said that the side did not play well in the first half and it ended up costing Blug Tigers in the end.
"I am not happy with the first 45 minutes. I told our players before the game that when you play against a team like Bangladesh, who will defend with at least nine players who are compact, our passing must be quicker from the back. For some reason, our defenders weren't doing that when it came to passing quickly from the back. They kept the ball for a long time and that isn't acceptable," said Stimac.
India head coach Igor Stimac rolled the dice in the second half as he brought on playmaker Brandon Fernandes in place of Mandar Rao Dessai, while winger Lallianzuala Chhangte came on for center-back Anas Edathodika.
"In the second half, we executed better passing from side-to-side and the channels started opening. However, we missed that aggressive touch when attacking the crosses. We must work on many more things to improve going forward. But looking at how our players gave our hearts onto the pitch, all I can do is hug them and be supportive of them. They just need to keep working hard and the wins will come," Stimac said.
With less than two minutes of regulation time left, it was Adil Khan, who came up with the equaliser, as he glanced his header past the near post, and into the back of the net.
India gave it an almighty effort in the closing stages of the match. Four minutes into injury time, Sunil Chhetri brought down an aerial ball for an unmarked Manvir Singh, who volleyed it wide.
Both the teams ended the day with a point apiece, and India now remain on the fourth spot with two points in Group E of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers.
Stimac also praised the audience turnout for the match at the Salt Lake Stadium.
"All the appreciation must be given to the crowd. This was an amazing day for Indian football. Many of these players won't forget this atmosphere, this ambience and this support. I enjoyed today's game and will remember it as one of the biggest games in my professional coaching career," Stimac said. (ANI)